Taylor Schilling, the actress best known for playing bisexual character Piper Chapman in Netflix’s prison dramedy Orange Is The New Black, came out this weekend in an Instagram post by her girlfriend, visual artist Emily Ritz.
Ritz posted an image of her and Schilling embracing outside. The caption read, “I couldn’t be more proud to be by your side @tayjschilling. Happy Pride!”
Schilling had been asked about her sexuality in a 2017 interview with The Standard. At the time, she avoided applying a label or revealing the gender of her past partners:
“I think (the question of my sexuality) it’s pretty invasive. I’ve had very serious relationships with lots of people, and I’m a very expansive human. There’s no part of me that can be put under a label. I really don’t fit into a box — that’s too reductive. I’m working all the time — I don’t really have anything else going on. But I’ve had wonderful relationships. I’ve had a lot of love, and I don’t have any qualms about where it comes from.”
Ritz is a multimedia visual artist who incorporates organic forms — like coral and succulent plants — into her surrealist artworks, something she calls “Lumplands.” Ritz has also experienced arthritis related to Lyme disease in the past, which has sometimes left her in extreme pain or even disabled at times, according to her website. She is also a musician whose works incorporate classic elements of jazz and R&B.
HAPPY PRIDE TO TAYLOR SCHILLING AND HER GF pic.twitter.com/F945YsPz8w
— lauren phoebe bridgers’ vegetable (@haenelswift) June 28, 2020
In a 2018 interview with the New York-based art and cultural website Rural Intelligence, Ritz said, “We all have different coping mechanisms. I know how healing and powerful art can be…. People doubt their art and their ability. I want to help people see that they can create their own world.”
“In many ways, humans are a plague on this earth,” she continued. “We are clearly not meant to last. We have a lot to offer but we are so destructive. There is love but we are innately selfish and greedy. Art is a way to add your beauty back into the world.”